Make Your Own Household Products

You can use home chemistry to make many of the everyday household products that you use. Making these products yourself can save you money and allow you to customize formulations to avoid toxic or irritating chemicals.

It's easy and economical to make your own hand sanitizer.
It's easy and economical to make your own hand sanitizer. Jeffrey Coolidge, Getty Images

Hand sanitizers protect you against germs, but some of the commercial hand sanitizers contain toxic chemicals that you may wish to avoid. It's extremely easy to make an effective and safe hand sanitizer yourself. More »

Aedes Aegypti Mosquito on Human Skin
Aedes Aegypti Mosquito on Human Skin. USDA

DEET is a highly effective mosquito repellent, but it's also toxic. If you'd like to avoid DEET-containing mosquito repellents, try making your own repellent using natural home chemicals. More »

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Bubble Solution

A soap bubble consists of a thin layer of water trapped between two layers of soap molecules.
A soap bubble consists of a thin layer of water trapped between two layers of soap molecules. brokenchopstick, Flickr

Why spend the money on bubble solution when it's one of the simplest things to make yourself? You can involve kids in the project and explain how bubbles work.

Save money and control ingredients by making your own laundry detergent.
Save money and control ingredients by making your own laundry detergent. Grant Faint, Getty Images

Making your own laundry detergent can save you quite a lot of money, plus you can eliminate dyes and fragrances that may cause chemical sensitivity reactions. More »

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You can use chemistry to create your own perfumes.
You can use chemistry to create your own perfumes. Anne Helmenstine

You can create a signature scent to give to someone special or to keep for yourself. Making your own perfume is another way to save cash since you can approximate some name-brand scents at fraction of the price. More »

Unclog a drain by loosening the clog or by dissolving it.
Unclog a drain by loosening the clog or by dissolving it. Jeffrey Coolidge, Getty Images

Save money by making your own drain cleaner. Here are two recipes for chemicals that unclog drains. One eases a slow drain, while the other is for hardcore clogs. More »

Toothpaste
Toothpaste. Andre Veron, stock.xchng

There may be situations in which you may wish to avoid fluoride in your toothpaste. You can make a natural toothpaste easily and inexpensively. More »

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Bath salts are simply colored and scented Epsom salts, easily made at home.
Bath salts are simply colored and scented Epsom salts, easily made at home. Pascal Broze, Getty Images

Make these bath salt any color and fragrance you choose to give as a gift or to use for a relaxing soak in the tub. More »

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Make your own soap.
Make your own soap. Nicholas Eveleigh, Getty Images

It's probably cheaper and definitely easier to buy soap than to make it yourself, but if you're interested in chemistry this is a good way to get acquainted with the saponification reaction. More »

A good mosquito repellent will keep you from needing to wear head-to-toe mosquito netting.
A good mosquito repellent will keep you from needing to wear head-to-toe mosquito netting. Thomas Northcut, Getty Images

Unfortunately, mosquitoes aren't the only insect pests out there so you may need to broaden your defenses a bit. Here's a look at the effectiveness of different natural chemicals against a variety of insects. More »

Flowers
Flowers. Kris Timken/Getty Images

Keep your cut flowers fresh and beautiful. There are multiple recipes for flower food, but they are all effective and much less expensive than buying the product at the store or from a florist. More »

You can use chemistry to remove the tarnish from your silver without even touching it.
You can use chemistry to remove the tarnish from your silver without even touching it. Mel Curtis, Getty Images

The best part about this silver polish is that it removes tarnish from your silver without any scrubbing or rubbing. Simply mix together common household ingredients and let an electrochemical reaction remove the nasty discoloration from your valuables. More »

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When you make your own shampoo you can choose exactly which ingredients are used in your recipe.
When you make your own shampoo you can choose exactly which ingredients are used in your recipe. Marcy Maloy, Getty Images

There are a few different recipes for homemade shampoo. You can make a classic soap-based shampoo or you can mix up a gentle shampoo formulation. The advantage of making shampoo yourself is that you can avoid undesirable chemicals. Make the shampoo without any dyes or fragrances or customize them to create a signature product. More »

Baking Powder
Baking Powder. Ronnie Bergeron, morguefile.com

Baking powder is one of those cooking chemicals that you can make yourself. Once you understand the chemistry, it's also possible to substitute between baking powder and baking soda. More »

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Sample of biodiesel.
Sample of biodiesel. Shizhao, Wikipedia Commons

Got cooking oil? If so, you can make a clean-burning fuel for your vehicle. It's not complicated and it doesn't take long, so give it a try! More »

Sam holds up handmade paper she made from recycled old paper.
Sam holds up handmade paper she made from recycled old paper, decorated with flower petals and leaves. Anne Helmenstine

This isn't something you're print your resume on (unless you are an artist), but recycled paper is fun to make and absolutely wonderful for homemade cards and other crafts. Each piece of paper you make will be unique. More »

Keep your tree alive by using a tree preservative.
Keep your tree alive by adding a preservative to its water that you can make yourself using common household ingredients. Martin Poole, Getty Images

Christmas tree food will help keep the needles on the tree and will keep it hydrated so that it's not a fire hazard. It costs so much to buy Christmas tree food that you'll likely be surprised it only takes pennies to make it yourself. More »